Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Middle And Five And Half

Yet another long overdue entry. 

Zac's half birthday was actually a month and a half ago already yet once again the weeks have just flown by before I've found a moment to sit and take stock. 

Unfortunately for Zac his half birthday falls on top of report writing time, and then assessment and evidence gather time, and then in amongst all of that is of course Belle's birthday. Such an intense time of year. And here we are, mid-July, while I still feel like I'm chasing my tail to close the academic year and another birthday with Luc turning three in a week almost upon us. 

Will there ever be enough hours in the day again?! 

So tonight I've switched off from work and anything else I could also be doing and I'm going to take the time to reflect on my wonderful five and half year old Zachary. Because the years are short and I've no idea where they go. 

My Zachary. Five and a half already. 

Recently I've been having so much 'middle' child guilt. Worrying that we're so busy with all of the older child firsts that are inevitable vs. the youngest child's last firsts and slightly more demanding needs -  that somehow you just coast along in the middle.  I work so hard to treat you all equally, to shower you all in equal attention, but still I worry that you don't always feature as much. 

So tonight you're featuring! 

My beautiful boy.  Your birthday seems so long ago yet only a few days ago all at the same time. Six months (ok, if I'm honest at this stage, seven and a half months) packed full of growing up, adventures, change. 

You changing. Definitely growing. 

Still my Small, but maybe no quite so. I was surprised to measure you recently to discover you were now 106cm tall. You've grown 3.5cm since your birthday - 1.5cm of that between April to now. Catching up to your big brother at a similar age (he was 107.5cm at five and half). You've definitely been having a growth spurt.  But still so tiny really. Of slight build and petite. At five and a half you still wear many 3-4 clothes, especially tops. And for what you need 4-5 in for length poor Nana has to take in at the waist!  We're almost at the stage now where you and Lucas could share a wardrobe of tops - infact there are some 3-4 now going in to his wardrobe as there are still half in yours!  I wonder if there will be a time when he'll overtake you? 

Back in January we took you for your first eye test and we were very surprised to find out that you needed glasses. Well I say surprised, I kind of always expected one of you boys at least to need glasses - what with me being short-sighted. But what surprised me that the reason you needed glass was not because of distance vision, but because you have astigmatism in both eyes. Rugby ball shaped eyes. We don't know yet if you'll always need glasses but we're due back at the optician soon to see how you're doing. Glasses really really suite you - exceptionally cute and my little mini me. So much so you look quite strange now when you are not wearing them!

My little boy who says the funniest things. Nuggets of insisting on calling your old swimming teacher Crisp instead of Chris, laughing at Bampi on Christmas day when he asked you what your address is; replying that you didn't have a dress, your wore a t-shirt. Laughing with your great-Uncle when he pretended that he couldn't count to ten and you tried to teach him how. 

We've since moved you swimming lessons. Four months ago now, but you still tell me you miss Crisp sometimes. We thought you were ready for the structure of 'grown up' lessons in the same centre as Xander. You're into your 3rd term of Wave 1 now. My lovely boy, you take so long to settle into new situations. You are dealing with the disappointment of not achieving your medal quite yet and we're working really hard on all your Self-Believing Sam and Persevering Poppy. We know you can do it Zac, and each week now you tell me that you have had a go at swimming without a belt. Your new teacher, Sian, says you are so nearly there. I bet you'll have that Wave 1 medal before you know it. 

You are still my little wild one. Excitable and silly and loud. What a lovely infectious sense of humour you have. I love how you giggle just because you are running or jumping around. A love of pulling big wide-eyed faces at the moment and the most engaging beaming smile when you are lost in a moment you are enjoying. My Small boy who just radiates joy. 

You can still be a little bit Jekyll and Hyde sometimes. Your strong "flight" response is still there,  my sensitive one, sudden anxiety or other intense emotions bring you so quick to tears in lots of situations. Your grumpiness can still be as extreme as your happiness.  But, you've so visibly matured this year at school! Learning to navigate your own emotions in the mix of the emotions of others.  

Your end of Reception year report was glowing. "A pleasant and happy boy... coping with change and has grown in confidence throughout the year... caring and considerate to others... inquisitive and enjoys a challenge... always tries his best..."

This year at school I think one of your favourite things have been learning to read. Each week you have been so excited to bring home your next reading book and so eager to sit with me and read it through. Reading seems to be coming so easily to you. At the moment you are on Level 3, and I think soon ready for Level 4. You are already getting so independent at figuring words out for yourself and so increasingly fluent. The last few books home from school you have read cover to cover with no support at all. 

I'm just so proud of you Zachy!  I was so anxious and worried about your move into Reception,  were you really ready for the demands on school... but you have flourished at every step of the way. 

If I especially think of the difference in sports day in Nursery and sports day this year. Oh my. You participated, you enjoyed yourself, You even won a race. Ok there was a wobble towards the end, but a world away from the anxious little boy who sobbed through Nursery sports day and found the whole experience so painful. 

This year, all of Reception, you have shone my boy!

At five and a half your still favourite things are Disney Princesses, castles, drawing and Lego.  So of course you spend much of your time combining them all, building castles with Lego for your Lego Disney Princess to live in. Or drawing castles and princess. Or  just drawing. Your beautiful detailed drawings are just wonderful and your writing is so neat and careful. You've made it your mission to collect every Lego Princess set and I know you currently have your eyes on the Cinderella castle set, Jasmine's castle set and Ariels boat!  Ironically, in amongst this you decided pink is no longer your favourite colour but instead you favour red! 

I adore, that even though you are getting older now, and even though you can be so sensitive to others reactions, that you still are oblivious to gender stereotyping. You love what you love whether it be superheroes or princesses and that is one of my very favourite things about you. You are just so uninfluenced and you. 

So of course you had the time of your life at Disneyland at Easter! The beaming joy on your face as you met some of the princesses was something gorgeous. Your utter delight with your five minutes with Rapunzal after we queued for an hour and twenty minutes moved me to a tear. You totally and utterly believed they were the real thing, that Rapunzal was the real Rapunzal and it absolutely made your day!    I think these will always be some of my favourite memories with you. 

Ah Zachy. You are so keen to be six now. So desperate for your Mummy, Daddy and Zachy only trip to London that will mean. I have so many special plans for this next birthday, but my boy I'm not ready for you to be so grown up! It is unbelievable to me that you are about to go in to Year 1! Each year seems to go by faster and each birthday seems to be closer to the last. 

Now we have six weeks of summer to look forward to, more adventures and I expect much more growing up change on the way to November. Only four and half months until another update is due. 

We love you so completely and endlessly.

Our middle sized boy. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

Monday, 24 June 2019


I've spent this weekend feeling utterly exhausted. Bone-achingly, everything just hurts, zero energy, zero motivation, tired. I'm not feeling quite well. Nauseous. The post-birthday recovery.

The build up is long, the day feels short and then the recovery.   

Saturday I slept in to 8.30am and then was back in bed at 1.00pm. Yesterday I was up at 6.30am but back in bed at 9.00am for two more hours, and then later had another nap in the afternoon at 5.00pm for another two and a half hours. Sleeping. And I've needed it. 

That's not to say we've done nothing. The boys have played in the garden this weekend, washing has been done, we went for a walk with the boys on their bikes, we went to my parents for dinner. But there has been lots of sleeping in-between all of that. 

Today I had hoped I would be snapping out of it but the exhausted and nauseous feelings have remained. I even had to close my eyes earlier for an attempted a forty wink sofa doze earlier while the boys were watching My Little Pony all sat around me after school. Something which I rarely to never do.

I feel a bit like I'm in a daze I guess. It is like walking through treacle.  Anabelle's birthday, June, so physically takes it out of me.  If I'm totally honest I'm ready to feel better now. Its been a very long month so far.

Our baby Anabelle. On Friday you turned NINE. What a ridiculously grown up number! 


A few months ago we spent the day with extended friends. Their little girl is almost exactly the same age as you, although we hadn't known that before then. A passing comment that she was going to turn 9 in June led us to ask what her birthday was. The 23rd. Just two days younger than you. In all these years I don't think we have ever met another girl so close to your age. Two days apart. Two very different stories. 

It was a shocking realisation for us just how big you would be now. Tall, slender, long-limbed. Almost looking like a young lady rather than a little girl at all. Seeing her towering over your brothers, even Xander who is only 16 months younger, was surreal; I wish I could imagine. So that is what it might be like if you were here. 

But I find it so hard to picture you as anything other than the 4lb 5oz tiny baby you were. 


This June has been particularly rubbish weather-wise. But once again, after almost three solid weeks of rain (or so it has felt like), your birthday was glorious. Another beautiful sunny day, for your day, the longest day. 

This year, for maybe for the first time truly for the entire day, it didn't feel like your birthday was running away with me, or that I was running out of time. Maybe I've learnt what will be too much or too many things to try and complete in a day. 

Or maybe I've finally learnt to not forget to breathe on your birthday. 

To breathe and slow down, Mama. 

We saw your birthday in as we always do. 00:08. That moment stuck in time when you arrived. Oh those eight minutes after midnight seem to take so long to pass. Just as the time between the contraction a little before midnight on the 20th June 2010 and the one that saw you arrive on 21st June 2010... those minutes after midnight seemed endless too. And then that moment, 00.08, that minute gone in a blink on an eye. 

We started the day by making the beginnings of prettying up the front patch by the front door. Zac had chosen a metal 'Princess Belle' rose for your birthday and your biggest fairy of the day was given its new home on the wishing well.  This year your birthday was Fairy themed. 

Choosing a theme never gets any easier. Neither does visiting the garden centre for garden ornament style presents.  It makes me so angry. This year it was fairies and your brothers each chose a fairy for your garden for you; Xander a green one, Zac a pink one and Lucas a purple one. We bought  a beautiful pink fairy handbag house for them to live in.   

We went for breakfast after dropping Brother 1 and Brother 2 to school. As seems to have become our tradition these last couple of years. Belle's Birthday Breakfast.  Lucas enjoyed being able to open the presents you had been given by other people; thoughtful friends aware of this years theme and buying something so lovely for your brothers to play with for you... a little playmobile fairy set. Lucas has of course commandeered this as his because he was the one who got to unwrap it, much to Zachy's disgust! 

We breakfasted and bought last minute bits. More double sided tape and ribbon so I could finish the fairy wings I had made for later on in the day. We bought your balloon. We visited the garden centre again and bought some more flowers to go out the front, to go with the ones another friend had bought you for your birthday. We collected your birthday flowers from the florist.  We went home. Daddy built a bug house with Lucas and I planted your home garden flowers. 

Then we collected your brothers from school and went to your garden for your fairy party. Your garden was so overgrown when we arrived after school on Friday. It looked shocking. I couldn't decorate it like that; but neither did I have the right tools for the job with me.  Complications I know would you have sent me spiral only a year or two ago, I met with a surprising level of calmness.  I phoned your Bampi and calmly waited. Not feeling like time was running out, not panicking because there was a delay in proceedings. Being flexible with the plan and letting your brothers play with bubbles while we waited for Bampi to come with some shears. 

So the garden was sheared, we decorated it, each of your brothers helped to put flowers in the pot and give the fairies their spots on your headstone.  We threw fairy wishes dust and made it all sparkle and glittery, we blew bubbles. Your brothers played and played for nearly three hours. It is the longest time we have spent in your garden in such a long time.  

I had made fairy wings for your brothers to decorate. Cardboard cut out fairy wings with double sided tape that they could decorate with nature / flowers / leaves / grass / petals and whatever else they could find in the garden all around you. They decorated them, they wore them and they ran riot having a fairy party for you. Zac in particular took such care over his fairy wings, being so particular about what he was putting where, taking such care of making his wings look symmetrical. Xander was having a whale of a time throwing anything he could lay his hands on on to his wings and Lucas, well, he didn't like the that the wings were so sticky but he stuck bits on and loved wearing them and playing with his fairy wand when he was finished.

Then we went home, sang Happy Birthday with your birthday cake and watched a fairy film,  of course (Tinkerbell) for a Family Film Night with cake and treats and popcorn. The boys finally went to bed at 9.00pm. It is just as well your birthday was a Friday with no school to get up for the next morning! 

I'm always so aware when making these birthday choices that we don't really know at all. I'm guessing it probably wouldn't have been a fairy party in the real world. I'm guessing it would've been too babyish for a nearly Year 5 girl.  I wonder if it would've been cinema and meal, or trampolining, or  bowling, or maybe even a slime party (seems to be ever so popular at the moment and what Xander wants for his birthday party)! I always wonder what you would've chosen for yourself. 

What you would've liked for your ninth birthday. What would've been the 'in' thing for girls of your age. What are the in things for girls your age. I admit to having no idea. What would your interests have been. If having Zac who loves all things pink and pretty has taught me anything; we choose girly things for you, well because it seems like the right thing to do. But who knows, maybe you would've been into Marvel Superheroes or something totally breaking free of gender stereotyping just like Zac. Maybe it would never have been the frilly pink and girly things at all. 

We had a lovely Belle special day for your birthday my beautiful girl, but I wish beyond wish that I really knew you.

Happy birthday. Nine. 

Mummy, Daddy, Xander, Zachy and Luc love you and miss you. Endlessly. 

Monday, 10 June 2019

A Start Of June Battering

As transitions into June go, this year has been pretty brutal. 

I woke up in Croatia on June 1st after a much-needed and gorgeous wedding guest mini-break with Jon and some of our best friends. Child free none-the-less.   Fly home day. 

Woke up with swollen - couldn't get my shoes on - feet and not feeling quite myself. Nothing unusual about not feeling myself on June 1st, I know. But at the day went on a slightly sore tickley throat and cough got worse and by bedtime I felt pretty rubbish. 

Sunday I woke up feeling positively unwell and by the afternoon very unwell. Throat and ear pain and ill, swollen neck and face ill.  A Monday GP visit to a viral infection (isn't it always?!) and high blood pressure diagnosis. Still ill enough mid-week to need Wednesday and Thursday off work. Thankfully Thursday was turn the corner day and able to get my shoes back on my feet day. 

Now a full week on I'm feeling mostly better. Still coughing a bit and not feeling quite 100% but better. Tomorrow I have a some blood tests (unrelated to virus) and blood pressure check to make sure it was only an illness related high blood pressure last week but in the meantime, Jon and the children haven't shown any sign of catching whatever it was.

Which leaves me pretty sure this viral whatever it was, is entirely linked to my reaction to a month. Like not a real virus at all but another manifestation of grief, almost like an allergic reaction and my entire anatomy effect by a month of the year.  Ill because the month changed to June. 

This year it seems my reserves are lower than ever and last week felt like a battering. 

I feel like I've lost a week of preparing myself for the month and all of a sudden it is now the 11th tomorrow, with ten days to go to her birthday, with not enough prepared.  Tonight I'm feeling a running out of time panic. An ever familiar nauseous ball in my stomach. 

I'm glad to be feeling physically better this week though. Even on a good month I've little time (quite literally) for illness. There are never enough hours in the day to get my job and the rest of life done as it is! 

At the weekend we bought Belle's ninth birthday presents.  The annual visit to the garden centre. To buy presents for our should-be nine year old.  The. Garden. Centre.  Garden ornaments.  Even though the boys were instrumental in the choices and their input is always precious... and even though they are pretty and girly purchases, they're still not what would be buying if she were here. At least I assume it isn't what we would be buying. Unless she particularly wanted a fairy village in the garden. Fairies being the theme her Daddy decided on for this year.  

Every year I feel somewhat angry that we don't really know what girls of her age really like. Not really. We make half-educated guesses. Land on something appropriately girly. 

So presents have been chosen. 

This week flowers will be ordered if one of us can steel ourselves to go to the florist. This year I find myself avoiding it. I've never known the 11th June without flowers ordered before. Another location where birthday money shouldn't be spent. Tomorrow that needs to get done.

Then Sunday we endure 'the day, the 16th, in collaboration with Father's Day. Then those five lost days ticking up to her birthday begin. The no-mans-land days of 2010. The just waiting. I haven't got a firmed up birthday day plan yet either.  

I'm so unbelievably already distracted by next years birthday. 

NINE means we're just twelve months off Belle being TEN. A decade. Double figures.  Distracted because I remember my own tenth birthday and how grown up it felt to be in double figures. Like a rite of passage.  Distracted because I'm already awash with anxiety about next year. A super significant 2020.  I wonder every year how another year of my life has ticked by. How the date is June 20andsomethingdifferent when my mind for this month always says 2010 to me. But ten years. A decade. That is a hell of a lot of growing up and getting older time. 

I may not have firmed up a birthday plan for this year quite yet. I have ideas, I'll set a plan in motion this week.  But next year, I'm planning to do it all a bit differently.  A bit differently like we would've if she had been here for such a significant birthday. Like we will also for the boys. Traditions starting with Belle. Our children's tenth birthdays will mean a quirky get away! 

We might not even be home at all on her actual tenth birthday. Which I have no doubt will present its own anxiety and guilt ridden challenges for me. But its ok isn't it? To plan to do something different that we might have done on her tenth birthday anyway. To not be here. To not necessarily be graveside on the actual day? 

I think I want Belle's quirky tenth birthday to have a beach / mermaid theme. Something like a beach-hut stay.  I've done a bit of googling tonight. Something not too far away but still away. I want to find something magical.  Magical that also doesn't break the bank. I've been surprised by the costs of weekends away that are not a Premier Inn on the longest day of the year so far.  

So if anyone knows of somewhere magical and quirky between an hour/hour and half from Cardiff that will fit the brief please send the links my way please! 

This year I'm distracting myself by already fretting about next year. Fretting how we'll mark it with the significance it deserves, beyond a quirky weekender. 

But anyway. I need to shelve ten for another time. 

Tomorrow I need to refocus on Belle just turning nine and get my act and plan together around that. Because a plan is what always sees me through. 

The ever changing symptoms, coping mechanisms and lack thereof this time of year never cease to amaze me.  Illness and distracted thoughts are right up there this year. 

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The Garden

Belle's first bloom of the year, in May. I thought it was going
to bloom in April this year when lots of buds appeared.
This plant keeps us guessing every year! 
Three years ago the song "The Garden" by Take That spoke to me like a bolt out of the blue. The words shouting at me to sort myself out from the latest crisis I felt completely unable to process and deal with.  

You know, it was that time when we had been told Lucas was a girl, (click to open) and then just as we had started to take that reality on board, and so ridiculously allow ourselves to wonder and hope,  it was swiftly taken away again. The next scan identified they had gendered our baby wrong and he indeed did have a winky. 

There I lived a few weeks of anger and brokenness.  I felt like a cruel joke had been played at my fragile expense.    A whole host of broken emotions I don't think I would've felt if they had just said boy right from the start. I had expected another boy, I was ready for that, anticipating three boys and imagining a life of a boy trio. Where as I hadn't prepared myself to be told girl, and certainly hadn't prepared myself for the gender to change on the next scan. 

A girl for moment and then he wasn't. 

And I didn't really know what to feel. Guilt was high up there. I had this tiny growing baby that for a moment I felt like I had completely lost my bond with. When all that had changed was this one scan. He hadn't changed. He had always been he in reality.  I had forgotten how to feel. Almost like I had become completely detached from myself and any other reality. Almost like watching myself from a distance. There was some crying, that turned into numbness and I kind of got stuck there for a bit.  And then fear. Fear that this unfortunate event would have a detrimental impact to how I would love my baby after he arrived. I wished hard they had just told me boy in the first place. It wouldn't have been like this had they just not got it wrong. 

Of course those fears we unfounded. Of course there would be no question of bond. He arrived and completed us perfectly.  Almost three years on and he most certainly has me wrapped around his little finger. Charming me endlessly, loved beyond measure,  my baby and Mummy's boy, and he definitely knows it! And what is with this business of him coming up three? Not really a baby at all! 

From the moment he was named I felt myself calm and settle. Almost like magic. This blip vanishing as we decided on Lucas Elias. Just like that I felt bonded and reconnected once again. His little person and identity.  And then by the time he arrived a few months later it was almost like there had never been this anguish of mistaken identity at all.   

And now three little rainbow boys that I couldn't want any other way. My little band of brothers. Unless of course the big sister accompaniment was here. 

But I remember it and how awful it felt to feel like it. 

That wasn't me. 

In amongst it all this song played in the car. And I remember crying to the words. Shouting at me like some sort of sign that someone seeing the wrong bits on a scan wasn't worth breaking my heart over and I most certainly needed to pull myself together, to open my mind, to put to bed the girl that he never was and concentrate on who he is. Lucas (although not named yet) needed his mother. 

Three years on, whenever the album is played in the car, the words are the same reminder to me again. A message I guess, to keep trying to heal. The life I've been given. 

"This is the life we've been given,
so open your mind and start living,
we can play a part if we only start believing.
This is the life we've been given.
So open your heart and start loving,
we can make a start if we only learn to listen." 

There are parts of the life I have been given I have accepted in abundance. My wonderful little boys, mine. I can be a boy-Mum, I can accept the world seeing me as an only-boy Mum, even though it is clear that is far from the real truth.   I could accept that I needed to start living. And not just living in the breathing sense; but really living, a full and joyful and wonderful life. Accepting that I could feel complete in my day-to-day life while feeling universally incomplete all at the same time. I accepted I was allowed to feel great joy along with carrying great pain. Neither negated the other. Finding some way to carry it all together. Just there hand in hand.  I have accepted how my life feels almost like two versions. Parallel, intertwining, colliding as they do at this time of year.

But how do I ever accept that this life only exists because my daughter died? How do I accept that she died. And I don't mean in a reality sense, because I know my reality. But how on earth do I ever truly make my peace with that. This huge overwhelming reality that brings chaos to my entire self for all of this time every year.  When too many emotions over-spill and I feel like I'm thrown back in time.

A month yesterday and she will be, would be, should be nine.

Today wasn't my best day. I didn't feel myself today. Almost like I was processing the 21st the day before and the 'month to go' had passed. Distant and detached maybe. So tired. Feeling incredibly low on motivation and energy to do the big stuff.  Whilst forcing myself to get through my never-ending personal and work life to do list.

The next shift in the downward turn I have no idea how to fight. When to be honest, experience tells me that fighting the feelings only makes it worse for myself in the long run anyway.   Ride the storm.

This year so far the symptoms appear to be feeling tired, not just tired, but drained, exhausted, heavy, (yet not being able to sleep well, and yes I should be in bed). Feeling detached.

 On the cusp of the 23rd May and already in the last 23 days I have lost count of how many times I have written or typed the date down as 2010 and having to correct that 0 to a 9. Like a subconscious reflex.

This period of the year that has moved on, but hasn't really moved on at all. Right there, here I am in 2010. Living it all again.  Such a pivotal point in my life. Before and after.  The moment of growing up. The life that would've been vs. the life that is. This is the life we've been given. Blowing my mind that I cannot imagine life without three little boys who only exist in the way they do because their sister does not. A 2019 that would've looked so very different if the dice had fallen a different way in 2010. It is always 2010 this time of year.

At least tomorrow I can say I am tired because I stayed up far too late, rather than tired just because I'm tired.

"You and me, we just lay down in the garden." 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019


Today it is the first day of May and I can already feel it.

The foreboding.

The flicking of the time of year almost upon us.

How like the first day of May means it is nearly June.

I'm either getting better at recognising the signals and the subtle, but there, shift of well-being or it is just there upon me earlier each year.

The foreboding.

I was aware of it yesterday. That knot of my stomach in a ball as the month became 'nearly June'.  The here we go again while anxiety pops its head up and all the self-doubt that comes along with it.

And I feel so tired.

Yes that could easily be because Jon has now been away since Sunday. And I set the alarm for 5.30am this morning and did a long day at work.

And now it is 10.30pm and I should most definitely be already asleep before I repeat the 5.30am alarm tomorrow morning.

But this shift of foreboding today has drained me too.

Knowing my true to form pattern that a month from now I'll be spiralling towards my worst. Waiting for the weeks of feeling sick and however else my subconscious self will react to nearly June and June this year.

The juxtaposition; having so many wonderful things happening in our lives, a full life, happiness in abundance and adventures with the boys; Disney just gone, Croatia almost here and our 10th wedding anniversary in the summer yet living the heightened grief parallel life each time this season rolls around.  Two lives colliding again. The should be so strongly shouting along with the what is.

The build up to the 21st June feels longer and longer each year.

Already driving along a dual carriage way thinking how to theme and celebrate my dead daughters ninth birthday. What do nine year old girls like these days anyway?  Resenting that I should know that already because in a different world our eldest would be here to celebrate her birthday.

I couldn't do it any other way.   My beautiful girls only day needs marking in its fullest.

I know I will ride this out. I know I will come out of the other side. And I know on birthday nine I am the biggest broken record. A whole lifetime to go.

But it is so exhausting.

And it is only the first day of May.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Lucas is Two Plus Half

I wish I could say that I can't believe that my first post of 2019 is bypassing January altogether, and that in-fact February is almost at a close too. But actually, I can. I've no idea where the weeks fly by but our days and weeks are so full, and so busy, between work and school and parenting and running a home.  There is always something else that needs doing, so the nice little update I want to write always gets pushed further down the never-ending list. 

But here we are. I've prioritised it tonight after a week of tonsillitis and feeling ridiculously sorry for myself. Not to mention that my little Lucas has already reached the next month milestone, long ago already feels his half birthday. 

His second and a half birthday.  Two and a half.

If I could bottle him just as he is now I would. Just to keep this little piece of him just as he is right now forever. With all of his toddler cuteness, his cheeky ways, fledgling independence and determined streaks, wanting to be big but with still so many of his baby ways just clinging on. With all those mispronunciations and broken sentences where you can almost hear him thinking about every single word he says sometimes. 

He is just beautiful company right now. I'm so much more relaxed about the inevitable tantrums this time, even more so on this third boy and just absolutely enjoying myself. I can honestly say he is such lovely company, our little Monday and Tuesday adventures are some of my favourite times of the week - him soaking up the new adventure and discovery and me soaking him up before I have to give him away to school like his big brothers before him.  

I find myself with so many pangs of 'the last one' right now;  clinging on to him just as he is now, before he becomes a properly big boy and not at all a baby anymore.

I mean when exactly did he become so big?! All of a sudden he feels absolutely giant. Enormous. He has filled out no end and sprouted centimeter upon centimeter in height. Already he is a centimeter taller than Zachy was at three and a half, nevermind two and a half! (Granted, Zac is at the tiny end of the spectrum so it isn't a fair comparison). But it does make Lucas seem so very big for his age when he weighs just shy already of what his middle big brother does right now. Although according to my red books he is just on a par with what Xander was around two and a half. I don't remember Xander feeling quite so massive though! But then he had no-one to be compared to. 

At two and a half  Lucas is more than comfortably into 2-3 clothes now (which happened all at once over Christmas!) and 91cm tall. Mostly I just hope he doesn't hit 100cm in shoes before July so I can get him into Peppa Pig World once more for free! 

My darling Lucas Elias. You are just simply gorgeous. Mummy is really enjoying spending time with you right now. Every week we go on our little adventures and try new things together. All the things you hadn't quite got to do before now because our days were split into three schools runs. But this year we are making up for it! It all started with a bus day adventure, and since then we've been on all kinds of adventures like; soft play, autumn, farm, rainbow, vibe tots, boating lake, lego shop, christmas shop, library, swimming, cafes, shopping, cinema, more buses, trampolining, garden centre and this week a train adventure. And all the other ones I've forgotten too. We are having a blast little boy! 

At two and a half you love transport. Riding transport and playing with transport, cars, trains, tractors, rockets. You have simply adored your bus rides and train ride. So often your first choice to play with is the car mat and cars, or garage at Nana and Bampi's. You've discovered the Toot Toot finally and thoroughly enjoyed making the cars go all the way around the enormous track that I built for you.   You also love playing with your Duplo and Peppa Pig Toys; in particular Grandpa Pig's Boat and Peppa's car.  

You love singing and dancing and reading books. All the very baby books have vacated the shelves now; now you're ready for picture book stories with lots of the younger Julia Donaldson titles vacating your brothers shelves and moving on to yours. That's not to say your brother don't still enjoy them too, they do, but it is your turn for them to become your favourites too. I think we're already there with Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. 

You still love Ben and Holly, Hey Duggee and Peppa Pig, and now, being a big boy.... Transformers. Yes, following in your brothers footsteps you have discovered those Rescue Bots and they have become your favourite things to take around with you. Asking Mummy to make them a robot, and then make it a car again. And superheroes seem to be on your radar now as you're able to distinguish Batman, Superman, Hulk whenever you see something with them on when you're out and about or at home. That will be more big brother influence won't it! 

You have become a bossy little chatterbox my Little. Why for the life of me I had any slight concerns about your speech ability six months ago is beyond me; because between two and two and a half you have more than made up for it. An EXPLOSION of talking, words, ideas. Ideas that you are very firm on. What a determined fierce little man you can be!   And one of those very firm ideas is that I am your Mummy.  Boy do your brothers know it sometimes! "My Mummy" you shout at them if they dare to sit on my lap or cuddle me. Running over and trying to pull them off or if that fails climbing up and maneuvering yourself between me and one of them, or even if it is Daddy!   "My Mummy" you yell! I don't remember encountering this quite like this with the other two - how often we go through the 'No Lucas, I'm not just your Mummy, I'm Xander's Mummy and Zac's Mummy too and they're allowed cuddles as well.' 

Oh the glorious age of "Mine" - you and Zac particularly are struggling to navigate this phase. You thinking everything you like is yours, and Zac not having quite the maturity or patience with you and so battles back at you every time. Unlike Xander who spoils you incessantly! You get away with far too much with your Big Big Lucas!  Brother bonds. So very different with each brother now, but so very equal too. 

You've also got into this gorgeous habit of calling people "Babe" - that will be Daddy's influence. So frequently you will ask me if I "want cup tea babe" or "you 'right babe" or "that one babe" - and then there is the pulling at my arm and saying "play me Mummy"  Super talking cuteness. I know I will miss these days when you start talking more properly, with full sentences and less jagged phrases. 

It is amazing how much growing up little people do in only six months. At the start of September you had your last morning feed with Mummy, 2 year and a month and a half old. You still remember though, which is kind of nice. Even just today you've pulled at my top, patted my chest and said 'milk' - not asking for it anymore, but just remembering. Now you only have a bedtime bottle - and that will not be too long before it is gone either. 

Recently you've done an even huger piece of growing up! Just after your half birthday you gave up Dee-Dee. I thought it was never going to happen, you were so much more attached to it than either of your big brothers had been at this age. And in the end it happened quite by accident.  We had planned to go Dummy-turkey over the Christmas holidays and then we chickened out. Then, at the very beginning of February, Daddy simply told you it was broken (after you had bitten a hole through it), and you accepted that and went to sleep without it - with no fuss - I thought it must be a fluke. But then you did it for another two nights! Then we had a wobble night. But we didn't go backwards. Oh no - we are a dummy free household!  Now this bit of growing up I was definitely ready for. What a big clever boy! 

You really are growing up little Lucas. Whizzing through these toddler days and will before long be, gasp, a pre-schooler. While you were barely two I had already put your nursery application in, and as of September you have your place in your big brothers school in the Nursery class. Nursery class and uniform. It all seems pretty terrifying to me. Especially as you're my last  and I will have to put those baby days behind me once and for all. 

Our wonderful, crazy, fun-filled little boy.

We have so many adventures to have before you are three!

We love every day with you and love you enormously. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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